Youth Empowerment in Asia-Pacific: Interview with UN Assistant Secretary General Kanni Wignaraja
"A lot of young people who are entrepreneurs, who are our new investors are saying the old ways are just not good enough for us. So the culture change, the behavior change, are driving how we consume, how we produce," says Kanni Wignaraja, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific at UNDP. What advice would you give to young people today? What is your vision for the Asia-Pacific region and how can youth contribute to this vision? We asked Kanni Wignaraja, to answer a few questions from young people in Asia and the Pacific. Watch the video to learn about issues that matter to both UNDP and the region's youth.
Aeroroots | Reducing pesticide use with agritech
Biplove Singh is the founder of Aeroroots, one of the winning start-ups at the 2019 Youth Co:Lab Summit. When Biplove had his first son two years ago, he became increasingly concerned about the effect of pesticides on his health. Together with a team of like-minded people, he began to set up aeroponic plant installations to grow vegetables without the need for soil or pesticides. His team now sells aeroponic drums, which allow people to grow vegetables on their own rooftops, and will soon begin to sell pesticide-free produce in markets in Nepal. In June they signed an agreement with the municipal government of Kathmandu to make the city greener by setting up aeroponic flower installations around public streets and squares.
PHINIX: A Youth Co:Lab Story
"The name PHINIX was inspired by the Phoenix bird, which dies and gets reborn into a new bird." Check out our video of Pamela Mejia, founder of Phinix, a social enterprise that upcycles textile wastes by collecting old clothes and fabric scraps and transforming them into higher value products, such as footwear and bags. Learn about her inspiration, advice for young entrepreneurs, and life after winning the Youth Co:Lab Summit this year!
Hands On: A Youth Co:Lab Story
Nannan is a boy from China who was born without fingers on his left hand. Like thousands of other children in his situation, Nannan's family didn't have the money to pay for reconstructive surgery or to buy an expensive prosthetic hand. It is children like Nannan that Hands On, one of the winning teams of Youth Co:Lab's Regional Social Innovation Challenge, want to help. Watch this video to learn more about Hands On co-founders Lee and Su, and their innovative initiative to provide disabled children with customized, 3D printed prosthetic hands.
Arooga Health: A Youth Co:Lab Story
Did you know that the Philippines has some of the highest number of depression cases in South East Asia? Concerned about the lack of accessible mental health services in the Philippines, grad school students Sam and Dom decided to set up Arooga Health, an online service that connects people who are seeking mental health support with counsellors and psychiatrists. Their mission is simple: to de-stigmatize mental health issues in the workplace. Watch this video to learn about how the duo plan to accomplish their mission.
LawKo: A Youth Co:Lab Story
It's no secret that legal processes can be complicated. That's why LawKo founders Alex and Keisha created a Facebook based AI chat bot that helps inform the Filipino public about the legal system, in an interactive and engaging way. Alex and Keisha met in college, where Alex was studying Law and Keisha was working in IT. After a spontaneous, last-minute decision to take part in a hackathon, they combined their respective expertise to create LawKo. To their surprise, they won the hackathon, and have been committed to developing their product and improving legal literacy in the Philippines ever since. Check out this video to learn more!